National Center for Functional Glycomics
The National Center for Functional Glycomics (NCFG) is one of four glycomics-related Biomedical Technology Resource Centers (BTRC) in the United States funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The NCFG is based in the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The center’s director is Richard Cummings, PhD, who is also director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Glycoscience, also based at in the Department of Surgery at BIDMC, and Chair of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics. In addition, Dr. Cummings is the S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Surgery in the Field of Nutrition Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Analogous to genomics and proteomics, glycomics focuses on defining the structures and functions of complex carbohydrates, as found in glycoproteins, glycolipids, and glycosaminoglycans. Complex carbohydrates are important in many physiological processes, and alterations in glycosylation are associated with large numbers of diseases and disorders.
The NCFG focuses on technology development in the glycosciences, with an emphasis on exploring the molecular mechanisms of glycan recognition by proteins important in human biology and disease.
The NCFG assists the research community not only by fostering technology development in the area of functional glycomics and microarray technologies, but also by enhancing biomedical research; expanding collaborations in the field; and providing related services, training, and data and technology dissemination.